• An average 233,986 Americans age 12 and older are sexually assaulted each year.1*
  • Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.1

Who Are the Victims?


  • 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. 2 Among all victims, about nine out of ten are female.
  • 1 out of every 33 American men has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in his lifetime. 2 About 10% of all victims are male.


Age of sexual assault victims: 6

  • 15% are under age 12.
  • 29% are age 12-17
  • 44% are under age 18
  • 80% are under age 30
  • Ages 12-34 are the highest risk years 3
  • Girls ages 16-19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of sexual assault. 3


Estimated persons raped in lifetime by gender and race: 2


  • 17.7% of white women
  • 18.8% of African-American women
  • 6.8% of Asian / Pacific Islander women
  • 34.1% of American Indian / Alaskan Native women
  • 24.4% mixed race women
  • 14.6% of Hispanic women


  • 2.8% of white men
  • 3.3% of African-American men
  • 4.4% of mixed race men
  • The sample size was too small to estimate for Asian/ Pacific Islander and American Indian / Alaskan Native men

Effects of Rape

Physical Injuries

100% of completed rapes, 39% of attempted rapes, and 17% sexual assaults against females result in injured victims.5

  • 33% of victims sustain minor (bruises and chipped teeth) physical injuries
  • 5% of victims sustain major (broken bones and gunshot wounds) injuries
  • 61% of victims sustain undetermined injuries

Only around 36% of injured victims receive medical care.2

  • 82% of those cared for use hospital services
  • 55% use physician services
  • 17% use dental services
  • 19% use ambulatory / paramedic services
  • 17% use physical therapy services

Mental Health

Victims of sexual assault are: 3

  • 3 times more likely to suffer from depression.
  • 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.
  • 26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
  • 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.


About 1 in 11 sexual assault victims reported that they suffered some economic loss as a consequence of the crime.6

  • The average economic loss (in 1997) was about $200
  • Nearly 7% of victims reported losing time from work.

Occurrence of Sexual Assaults

The number of rapes reported is spread fairly evenly throughout the year, with a slight increase in August (around 9%) and the fewest in December (around 7%).6

Time of day sexual assaults occur: 6

  • 43% between 6:00pm and midnight.
  • 33% between 6:00am and 6:00pm
  • 24% between midnight and 6:00am

Nearly 6 out of 10 sexual assault incidents were reported by victims to have occurred in their own home or at the home of a friend, relative, or neighbor.6

Reporting to Police

There were 90,427 forcible rapes reported to police in 2007. 9

Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes, with an average of 39% being reported to the police each year. 1*

When victims of rape, attempted rape, and sexual assault did not report the crime to the police, the most often cited reasons were:5


  • personal matter (23.3%)
  • fear of reprisal (16.3%)
  • police biased (5.8%)

Attempted rape:

  • personal matter (16.8%)
  • fear of reprisal (11.3%)
  • protect offender (9.9%)

Completed and attempted sexual assault

  • personal matter (25.3%)
  • reported to different official (12.4%)
  • fear of reprisal (11.3%)

The closer the relationship between the female victim and the offender, the greater the likelihood that the incident will not be reported.5

When the offender was a current or former husband or boyfriend, about 75% of all victimizations were not reported to police.

When the offender was a friend or acquaintance, an average 71% were not reported.

When the offender was a stranger, an average 44% were not reported.

The Offenders

Almost 2/3 of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.1

  • 23% of rapists are an intimate
  • 3% are another relative
  • 38% are a friend or acquaintance
  • 31% are a stranger
  • 6% are unknown

Only about 6% of rapists ever serve a day in jail. 1

The average age of an arrested rapist is 31 years old.6

  • 0.6% are 17 years old or younger
  • 54.6% are 18 to 29 years old
  • 28.6% are 30 to 39 years old
  • 8.9% are 40 to 49 years old
  • 7.3% are 50 years old or older

Marital status of arrested rapists.6

  • 22.1% are married
  • 1.2% are widowed
  • 28.5% are divorced
  • 6.2% are separated
  • 42% are never married

An average 8% of sexual assaults each year involve the use of a weapon.1

  • 2% use a firearm
  • 4% use a knife
  • 2% use another form of weapon
  • 6% are unsure
  • 87% of victims reported the use of physical force only

Convicted rapists made up 1.2% of the 272,111 state prisoners released in 1994, and 46% of these released rapists were rearrested within three years for some type of felony or serious misdemeanor.7

2.5% were rearrested for another rape.

In 1999, women accounted for 1 in 50 offenders committing a violent sex offense including rape and sexual assault.8
Nearly 6 in 10 of these women serving time in state prisons have experienced physical or sexual abuse in the past.
Offenders in sexual assault murders are about 6 years younger on average than other murderers.6
Youth under 18 have accounted for about 10% of the sexual assault murders since 1976.

1U.S. Department of Justice: Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2007 National Crime Victimization Study. 2007.
2U.S. Department of Justice: National Institute of Justice. Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women. 2000.
3U.S. Department of Justice.
4U.S. Department of Justice: National Institute of Justice. Youth Victimization: Prevalence and Implications. 2003.
5U.S. Department of Justice: Bureau of Justice Statistics. Rape and Sexual Assault: Reporting to Police and Medical Attention, 1992-2000. 2002.
6U.S. Department of Justice: Bureau of Justice Statistics. Sex Offenses and Offenders. 1997.
7U.S. Department of Justice: Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2002 Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994. 2002.
8U.S. Department of Justice: Bureau of Justice Statistics. Women Offenders. 1999.
9U.S. Department of Justice: Federal Bureau of Investigation. Uniform Crime Report. 2007. Note that the definition of forcible rape used in this report is quite narrow. It excludes many types of sexual assault, all attacks on male victims, and statutory rapes of children too young to consent.
* Average of years 2003-2007